Variations in abundance, diversity and community composition of airborne fungi in swine houses across seasons
We examined the abundance, diversity and community composition of airborne fungi in swine houses during winter and summer seasons by using quantitative PCR and Illumina HiSeq sequencing of ITS1 region. The abundance of airborne fungi varied significantly only between seasons, while fungal diversity varied significantly both within and between seasons, with both abundance and diversity peaked in winter. The fungal OTU composition was largely structured by the swine house unit and season as well as by their interactions. Of the measured microclimate variables, relative humidity, particulate matters (PMs), ammonia, and stocking density were significantly correlated with fungal OTU composition. The variation in beta diversity was higher within swine houses during summer, which indicates that the airborne fungal community composition was more heterogeneous in summer compared to winter. We also identified several potential allergen/pathogen related fungal genera in swine houses. The total relative abundance of potential allergen/pathogen related fungal genera varied between swine houses in both seasons, and showed positive correlation with PM2.5. Overall, our findings show that the abundance, diversity and composition of airborne fungi are highly variable in swine houses and to a large extent structured by indoor microclimate variables of swine houses.
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